Fingal County Council in north Dublin has said it will be "vigorous" in prosecuting any of its 67,000 householders who refuse to pay their bin charges. The Council introduced a waste collection fee earlier this month. Residents are obliged to put a tag, which costs €5, on each refuse sack they leave out for collection.

Following a Council meeting in Swords, spokesman PJ Howell said staff would next week put a yellow warning sticker on the bins of those who have not paid collection charges. The following week, a red tag will be placed on the bins of non-payers, signalling that they are going to be prosecuted.

Mr Howell said this policy was being implemented, despite an ongoing High Court case in which an attempt by the Council not to collect the bins of non-payers was being challenged. The appeal was brought by Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins and Socialist Party Cllr, Clare Daly.

The Council has given an undertaking to the High Court that it will continue to collect bins from houses even if they have not paid. The policy, however, indicates that while their waste may be taken, the Council will prosecute them.

A proposal to the Council today that people who do not pay for tags for their bins be offered a flat annual fee instead was not passed.